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General Health, Wellness, & Spirituality Questions Hey.. are you new to the health & fitness lifestyle? Then this sub-forum is for you. Inside is a slew of pertinent tips and explanations to speed you on your way. Enjoy! The forum has been dedicated to the memory of a now deceased friend of the NarkSide: David "Mavsluva" Lowe. He was an inspiration for many of us here in the community. This forum serves to continue the work which David started: To unite the Spirit, Mind, and Body... in the pursuit of the improvement of self. R.I.P. David. We love you man. You'll always be with us.

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  #1  
Old 11-22-2008
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Default sciatica

A couple of years ago I had a bad run in with sciatica. It started quite slowely with a burning sensation in my ass if I was sitting down for to long. But then after a couple of weeks it took of badly and I got excrutiating pain from the ass and down to my right foot whenever I was sitting down for more than 5 minutes, also when standing up it would feel like someone was stabbing me in the ass with a knife, those sharp stabs of pain brought me down on my knees a couple of times. The diagnosis I got from a doc was a herniated disc. At the end I even had throbbing pains when lying down and my range of motion was so restricted I could just bend over with straight legs and get my hands slightely below my keends. Fortunaly I managed to rehab myself, ironicaly by doing the exact opposit of what my physiotherapists had told me to do, following his advice had made things much worse so I figured I might try the opposit The way I rehabed it was my working through the motions that caused pain, I figured that if I can restore my range of motion then I would be ok again. So I started doing alot of crunches, straight leg deadlifts etc and after a couple of weeks I was cured and could touch my toes again. Those where the most painfull couple of weeks in my life though, every single crunch made me cringe out of pain.

Now Im starting to feel the pain creep back again, I hope its just something temporary and that it wont get bad. But I can feel some slight burning down my left leg all the way down to my foot again if Im sitting down for more than half an hour or so. It seems to have started since I began stretching my hamstrings several times a week. Thats the only cause for it that I can think of.

My question then after that rambling is simply, how the hell can stretching cause it? Can stretching even cause or aggrevate a disc hernia? How do I prevent it from getting worse incase its not just a temporary thing?
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Old 11-22-2008
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Default Re: sciatica

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johan
A couple of years ago I had a bad run in with sciatica. It started quite slowely with a burning sensation in my ass if I was sitting down for to long. But then after a couple of weeks it took of badly and I got excrutiating pain from the ass and down to my right foot whenever I was sitting down for more than 5 minutes, also when standing up it would feel like someone was stabbing me in the ass with a knife, those sharp stabs of pain brought me down on my knees a couple of times. The diagnosis I got from a doc was a herniated disc. At the end I even had throbbing pains when lying down and my range of motion was so restricted I could just bend over with straight legs and get my hands slightely below my keends. Fortunaly I managed to rehab myself, ironicaly by doing the exact opposit of what my physiotherapists had told me to do, following his advice had made things much worse so I figured I might try the opposit The way I rehabed it was my working through the motions that caused pain, I figured that if I can restore my range of motion then I would be ok again. So I started doing alot of crunches, straight leg deadlifts etc and after a couple of weeks I was cured and could touch my toes again. Those where the most painfull couple of weeks in my life though, every single crunch made me cringe out of pain.

Now Im starting to feel the pain creep back again, I hope its just something temporary and that it wont get bad. But I can feel some slight burning down my left leg all the way down to my foot again if Im sitting down for more than half an hour or so. It seems to have started since I began stretching my hamstrings several times a week. Thats the only cause for it that I can think of.

My question then after that rambling is simply, how the hell can stretching cause it? Can stretching even cause or aggrevate a disc hernia? How do I prevent it from getting worse incase its not just a temporary thing?
If you truly have a disc problem, then stretching can aggravate it because it puts tension on the nerve. That aspect is a mechanical thing. What causes the numbness, burning, shooting pains, etc., is the inflammation and "swelling" around the nerve from the injury.

Physical therapy is the best thing for it, certainly not bedrest or decreased activity.

The thing I always give patients to calm it down, if it truly is sciatica (and yours certainly sounds like it), is a course of tapered prednisone. If they have Medrol dose paks there, or predinisone over-the-counter, let me know via pm and we can talk further. I'm also a fan of ice. 20 minutes every hour to two where applicable. That is what I did when I injured my back recently, and I was lifting again withing 2 days, and though it pesters me from time to time, I continue to ice it, and take NSAIDs, and I'm still getting better.

If you do have a disc problem, avoid things that will compress the vertebrae, and lead to an axial load. Also, bending over (flexion at the hip) puts pressure on the disc and if it's herniated, it will cause it to extrude out from between the vertebrae and put pressure on the inflamed nerve--that is how stretching can exacerbate the symptoms.

The other thing to consider with the ass pain is piriformis syndrome. There is a link below that explains the difference in terms of diagnosis. See if that makes sense and let me know.

http://www.backpain-guide.com/Chapte...iaticaPir.html

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Old 11-22-2008
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Default Re: sciatica

Would a disc problem be something that is reoccuring? Last time I had a problem was spring 2004.

Im still hoping this might just have been something temporary though. Il have to se how it feels next week when sitting at work. I havent feelt anything today or yesterday. But I feelt it on tuseday, wendsday and thursday while sitting through the long conferance sessions. Not nearly as bad as 2004 but somewhat annoying. Im not sure if predinisone or medrol is otc, Il have to check that and get back to you!

Anoyingly enough I have no fridge so I cant use ice :-\

I tried doing both things outlined in the link you sent and neither produces any pain? Back in 2004 though the leg raise would have definetly caused pain.
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Old 11-22-2008
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Default Re: sciatica

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johan
Would a disc problem be something that is reoccuring? Last time I had a problem was spring 2004.

Im still hoping this might just have been something temporary though. Il have to se how it feels next week when sitting at work. I havent feelt anything today or yesterday. But I feelt it on tuseday, wendsday and thursday while sitting through the long conferance sessions. Not nearly as bad as 2004 but somewhat annoying. Im not sure if predinisone or medrol is otc, Il have to check that and get back to you!

Anoyingly enough I have no fridge so I cant use ice :-\

I tried doing both things outlined in the link you sent and neither produces any pain? Back in 2004 though the leg raise would have definetly caused pain.
Sure, a disc can be a recurring problem. Again, what causes the pain in a disc issue is the resulting inflammation around the nerve, caused by the compression of the nerve by the disc (think of it as a trauma), and it can wax and wane.

You might also have a spasm, which is common in ppl with disc problems and history of back pain.

If you are not experiencing the shooting pain, prednisone is not applicable. Again, if you are, pm me.

re: no ice -- you're a physicist and can't think of a practical endothermic reaction with household goods that can result in something really cold to put on your back?
Buy a frozen dinner and slap it on your back before you eat it...or can you buy an icepak that activates when you crush it up, then refreeze it at work?

What specifically are your symptoms right now?

Btw, Whitey recommended hanging from a back extension machine for decompression, and I tried it with decent results. I held onto a 45 lb pL (~ 20 kg for my european brothers) and it helped quite a bit.
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Old 11-23-2008
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Default Re: sciatica

Well I can think of a few endothermic nuclear reactions, but it would be hard to macgyver with household goods

My symptoms now is just slight aching pain along my left leg down to my left foot if I sit down to long. Not very bad just a bit annoying but similar to how it was before it got worse the last time.

Il hit you with a pm when I get back from the gym :) Il have to try some hanging after my squat workout today :hbang:
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Old 11-23-2008
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Default Re: sciatica

A couple things that have helped with my sciatica (from severely degenerated discs): dynamic reverse hyper-extensions; a modified "downward dog" yoga pose in which a rope is looped around the waist, right at the hip crease, and attached to a rack/wall behind you, and then you hang from the rope, causing l-spine decompression; and sled dragging while attaching the sled to a hip belt.

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Old 11-23-2008
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Default Re: sciatica

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johan
Well I can think of a few endothermic nuclear reactions, but it would be hard to macgyver with household goods

My symptoms now is just slight aching pain along my left leg down to my left foot if I sit down to long. Not very bad just a bit annoying but similar to how it was before it got worse the last time.

Il hit you with a pm when I get back from the gym :) Il have to try some hanging after my squat workout today :hbang:
erm, squats will likely have the compression effect we're speaking of, but carry on and let me know how it goes
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Old 11-23-2008
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Default Re: sciatica

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobW
A couple things that have helped with my sciatica (from severely degenerated discs): dynamic reverse hyper-extensions; a modified "downward dog" yoga pose in which a rope is looped around the waist, right at the hip crease, and attached to a rack/wall behind you, and then you hang from the rope, causing l-spine decompression; and sled dragging while attaching the sled to a hip belt.
Sounds interesting, I cant quite picture the modified yoga pose those. Can you draw a simple stickman figure?

God I wish my gym had a reverse hyper. Il have to try and figure out some way to do reverse hypers without a reverse hyper machine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrailRunAZ
erm, squats will likely have the compression effect we're speaking of, but carry on and let me know how it goes
Im quite comfterable with squats, I squatted all the way through the rehab during 2004 and it has never caused me any pain fortunaly :)

Today I feelt absolutely nothing in my back so perhaps it was just some freak thing during tuseday to thursday. Il have to se tomorrow at work after sitting down for a few hours.
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Old 11-23-2008
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Default Re: sciatica

Go to:

http://www.yogaprops.net/Merchant2/m...y_Code=4_ropes

Scroll down to spinal traction...
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Old 11-23-2008
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Default Re: sciatica

i had a run in with sciatica myself a few years ago,not a nice thing,i also had a bruised coxix,just rested for a few months no work ect and luckily for me it went slowly,
did you also getbthe pins and needles in the foot?
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